Big update.........

My next story post was supposed to be in January and I was all ready to update you but then January came and has long gone!!! This year has started so well for Sweet Pea and I’m enjoying it so much, ideas have gone from strength to strength, so I will re cap briefly from my last story at the end of August.

September my little one started back at school now in year two and I had delivered Liz from Lottie Brown’s commission in the summer, Liz asked me to design her logo for her new business. So we met up and talked about her ideas which she loved. At this point I also had an email chat with Kate from Flock & Hare to meet up and show me her finished logo which I designed. I was super excited to see it and Kate had a sample throw with her for me to see. I’m so thrilled to see my designs come to life, from the initial chat with a customer to seeing the design on such wonderful products makes me feel so proud. Working with Lisa King has become a great partnership and I look forward to future collaborations with her.

At this point new work was evolving and I wanted to update my website with photos of myself creating and foraging so people could connect with me whilst looking through my website. So the wonderfully talented Liz from Lottie Brown came to take some photo’s of me at home and in my village. I was taken a back with the quality of the photos and just how Liz captured me. I love them on the website dotted about and have used them on social media too. I think they help show you a little about my personality which connects with my work and you feel comfortable navigating through my site.

The far right photo ment such a lot to me and brought me to tears. I’d highly recommend Liz if your looking for a photographer it was a pleasure to have her her for the day.

By the end of October I was concentrating on evolving my work and exploring lots of different ideas. Through illustration and watercolour which I’m now using more and more. I was enjoying the autumnal days and planning further workshops ready for the festive period. We had family over from Australia and it was lovely to enjoy the half term as the frosty starts had begun.

November I delivered my first festive workshop at The Little Shed, creating hand made illustrated wreath cards and gift tags. It was wonderful to meet another group of lovely Ladies who totally embraced the evening. Since Anney asked me to deliver my first workshop last June I’ve enjoyed it more and more. I was so nervous for the first one but the Ladies are all so lovely and I get so much out of the workshop too.

This year many of my customers ordered personalised clay shape for the busiest gift buying season. My clay shapes went down so well, so thank you all for your orders. I also had an idea to have a pop up shop at my home too for school Mummies and friends which was such fun, with tea and home made cakes on a Friday morning, something I’d definitely think about doing again.

This year I made the decision not to attend the Christmas Market at The Roundhouse with a stand but attend as a customer. I thoroughly enjoyed my day as I went with a friend as a VIP, sometimes I think it’s good to take a step back. I often question events and if they are right for my little business or not. It’s a wonderful event but for the two days quite an outlay for me. But I did attend the ‘Joy of Christmas’ Nicky from Joy Interiors first event in her pretty village Appleby.

The event was so beautifully styled by her and the team and I enjoyed it so much. I met some new stall holders and customers which made the day so worth attending. This event for me was targeted perfectly to my customer and it inspired me with my work and where to go next.

A few commissions and deliveries to post and Christmas was here so quickly. A very busy lead up to this time of year which is when we also celebrate our daughters birthday. Her first sleep over with her best friend as a birthday treat on the last day of term and we went to see the new Mary Poppins!!

A well deserved break with our family, wrapped up country walks and toasted our toes by the fire with a mug of hot chocolate snugly in our cosy home was bliss.

January arrived and I wasn’t at all prepared for how busy I was going to be! I had a commission of some fabulous ewes to paint, promoting my workshops, preparing for the Spring Market at The Roundhouse and started to also promote my new venture with Jemma from Unconditionally Nourished ‘Escape & Create’ Retreats.

The design’s that I created a few years ago for Styleboxe where out and being stocked by companies such as Party Delights and has sold out within two weeks of them stocking it!!! I was promoting ‘Escape & Create’ every day and meeting with Jemma every week. Then at the end of the month it was my birthday and the weekend before one of my besties and I took off for a weekend in York.

I was feeling amazing and couldn’t believe how 2019 had started for me. York came at a good time to get away for a few days and recharge. I had so much fun and plan to try to get away more for myself. I also enjoyed an extremely inspiring visit to Devol with my friend celebrating our birthdays after having brunch at the Appletree gift shop and tea house. I’d ordered some tiles for the fire hearth in our bedroom made by the tallented Hannah Livesley ceramics, collected them there and can’t wait to show you them when they are in situe.

After enjoying a wonderful birthday, I delivered the second ‘In bloom’ watercolour workshop at the Little Shed in February. This year I have also made the brave decision to finish working part time with the pre school I attend on a Tuesday morning. It feels right to be pursuing what I really want to with being self employed and cant wait to take on the new challenges. So in the children’s school holidays I’ve launched ‘Make your mark’ children’s workshops, first ‘Self portrait with a difference’, art workshops for those children that think outside the box.

This year I am also stocking at The Makers, Ashbourne an independent makers shop run by the lovely Sally. I’m promoting my workshops to be delivered here too, the first ‘Spring Wreaths’ was in March. The shop is a lovely old building with three floors another fabulous venue to run my workshops.

Throughout February I was meeting Jemma putting together our ideas for our ‘Escape & Create’ Retreats alongside planning and running my workshops. Getting stock together for my next event and organising my children’s workshops. I completed my next commission and delivered it to my happy customer which was a joy to create, my first time painting ewes and I loved it.

March, started gently and progressed very quickly!! The wreath workshop at The Makers went so well, I thoroughly enjoyed it and so did the attendees. One was a 12 year old who produced the most amazing piece, I was so thrilled he was on the workshop. I started promoting the next one there ‘Boho Bunny’ which sold out in a week.

The venue was decided for the ‘Escape & Create’ Retreat Day and Jemma and I were talking promote, promote, promote as I think we underestimated how much we needed to do! I love collaborating with others and working with Jemma has been a great collaboration and organising future events with her are already in motion.

The beginning of March is a difficult time for me because this is when I lost my Dad two years ago but with so much positivity going on it carried me through to many happy days. Working on the retreat I have also been collaborating with Laura Elizabeth who’s been sharing her skills on flat lay with me and produced some fantastic styling for our day. In January I organised ‘Creative Meet ups’ because I’m leaving Pre School and meeting each week with colleges, I can do this at the end of each month with creative like minded self employed followers. So this month were on our third meet and Laura and I go together as she and I live in the same village! It’s a small world!

At this point in organising our ‘Escape & Create’ event for the first time and heavily promoting we found that our flyer needed to be re vamped which we did and found it helped. All these things definitely will be implemented for further events together. But having never organised an event before we have lean’t so much which we will take on for next time.


After the success of the workshop at The Makers, a Lady who attended contacted me to design a watercolour that would be used for the invite for her wedding. I was thrilled with this ask and of course delivered this unique request. Steph was thrilled too and shortly will be able to show you how the invite looked, I love this part.

To finish March off with a bang I featured in my first publication, ‘Mollie Makes’ Magazine! On a page promoting ‘Posters and Prints’ with some other wonderful creatives, I was over the moon. A dream to be featured in a magazine with my business, one day my home too!

On the 24th March I attended the Spring Market at The Roundhouse, Derby for the third year. It was a great day, bit nervous as I’d not been at the event for a while but met some lovely new customers and took some new work came back with new contacts and opportunities. One idea I’d had was to print my designs on tote bags, the bag looks fantastic and hope to purchase an order in the future with this design and more.

The second of the workshops was delievered at The Makers ‘Boho Bunnys’ and we were now into April. After a lovely Mother’s Day at home with all the Mum’s, my thoughts and concentration were firmly now on the very first of Jemma and my ‘Escape & Create’ Retreat Day at Shottle Hall, Derbyshire.

I had a few creative logos to design the week leading up to the event, whilst pulling everything together for the day. Jemma and I had sourced independent businesses that would also help to bring our event together, with homemade gorgeous biscuits, candles, lovely note books and personalised prints for the goody bags. Each person booked onto the day also enjoyed a hand massage during lunch time which was an added bonus from the lovely Alison.

I created natural clay shapes for each person too and Jemma provided a copy of her own publication on self care. We had signs made for the grounds of Shottle Hall by Laura Elizabeth which we dotted about ready for our morning walk. The room came together so well after all our planning, the tables dresses beautifully and I also made little posy’s of flowers picked from my garden.

We had 10 on the day in the end and each Lady gave us such wonderful feedback. Jemma delivered a fantastic morning session on self care for the everyday which I too sat in on and took note of things to fit into my routine. Listening to the other Ladies honestly talk about self care was really up lifting. Whilst we then broke off for a mindful walk around the grounds of the hall, Amanda Wight came to capture our day and took some wonderful photographs. She involved herself in the group well and felt like one of us. It was relaxed and non intrusive and the images we now have are fantastic for future events.

Once the morning session was delivered, the walk was enjoyed, lunch was laid out and Alison brought her hand massage skills into practice. It was so lovely to chat amongst the ladies and see how relaxed they were finding the day, giving themselves time to unwind and embrace self care.

Once lunch was finished I filled their afternoon with a watercolour wreath workshop. Taking in the skills they had learn’t in the morning and to think about how art can be used in so many different ways. For me being creative is second nature and I have always been passionate about creativity. It doesn’t come easily to everyone but it doesn’t matter. Being creative makes you stop and relax and think about you. Getting lost for an hour using watercolours is inexpensive, relaxing and therapeutic.

With tea and cake provided before finishing their watercolour wreath the Ladies enjoyed the afternoon and day. The feed back we had was so positive and soon we will be advertising the next retreat day. So if you missed our first day, like the look of how the day was organised, think it sounds like a day you’d enjoy then please contact us and we’d love to hear from you.

After such a busy start to the year and achieving so much I was ready for a break. Lots of new ideas are in the pipeline, workshops at new venues and I’m ready to embrace them all. Easter came at a good time for me to stop and re charge the batteries plus my husband was off for the second week which is unusual this time of year, so we managed a few days away too, visiting Cambridge, lovely villages and the seaside in and around Norfolk.

The weather was fantastic and once back I delivered my first workshop at the Buttermilk Coffee House with the lovely Chloe. After the Spring Market at The Roundhouse in March, Chloe approached me asking if i’d be interested in delivering workshops at her coffee house so we have now a diary full till the end of the year. This wonderful opportunity led me to deliver the second ‘Vegtastic’ children’s workshop there. The first was in my village church hall and both were a great success, the children loved printing with the veg and getting really creative.

So now my next event is ‘Joy of Spring’ with the super lovely Nicky from Joy Interior. I will have a stand there and am delivering a watercolour workshop in the afternoon. My Mum too is having a stand which will be lovely to see as she’s worked hard to get to this point with many family commitments taking priority.

Looking back over the last six months has been interesting to see where my little business is growing and how it is evolving. I love being creative and now this is my full time dream job. With my family and friends fully supporting me and being able to be there for my daughter, I’m looking forward to what the next six months bring. So I hope you have enjoyed reading my big update and I look forward to my next blog story, till then take care.

My little dream

So for some time now I’ve secretly dreamt of being featured in a home magazine. I think when I lived at home with my parents there was always a copy of Country Living or Country Homes & Interiors at hand. I remember thinking when I’m older with my own home living in the country how nice it would be to be featured one day?!

I’ve always been influenced with country love, old vintage furniture with a story and that cosy feel. Having been brought up in a cottage with a large garden we were always either inside being creative with my Mum or outside playing in the garden, looking after the dogs, making dens or digging. Living the rural life growing up for me has had such a big impact on my life. It definitely helped with my creativity and also comforted me at different times in my life.

I look at my upbringing as such a happy time in the cottage. My parents have since moved but have still captured that country life in their new home. It’s influences like this that never leave you and I often reflex on them when I’m quietly creating away in our kitchen or on walks in our village, foraging for cow parsley.

Living in a village is so relaxing, such lovely people here in Little Eaton, Derbyshire and were surrounded by bucket loads of countryside. My Husband and my dream was to renovate a house in a rural setting to settle down with our family. We moved into our 1930’s detached home 6 years ago and for the first 3 years didn’t do much at all but save to renovate.

Michael has always know how much I’d love to choose my own interior. One anniversary he bought me a scrap book and a handful of home magazines and said to start our dream for the future. This then moved onto Pinterest and since living here in Derbyshire I met some lovely people including Nicky from Joy Interiors. I absolutely love putting things together with my creative/arty detail but somethings I have asked Nicky to help.

Once we were ready to start, the house was packed up, we rented a lovely barn for 3 months and absolutely gutted the house. It’s a 3 bed, bathroom down stairs, cosy lounge and large kitchen. But the space didn’t work for us so it was a matter of re designing the space and extending above the existing kitchen extension. We extended my daughters bedroom, added more landing, brought the bathroom upstairs & still managed to keep the third box bedroom. Downstairs the kitchen was widened, the entire walls of the house went back to brick, we had a re wire, walls then plastered and new windows throughout.

I will add at this point we saved for a very long time and didn’t go on a holiday for 5 years abroad, until last year. Sometimes you have to prioritise and we’d rather this than to get into lots of debt.

When we first bought our house, I’ll be honest I didn’t really like it at all! But in my thoughts always was what it would look like once we’d finished. I’m quite good at visualising the finished article, close my eyes and I could see the new kitchen, lounge etc, patience has had to be learnt along the way!!! As you can see above we had a delightful 1970’s kitchen and when a cupboard door fell off I made a lovely curtain to make do. It really was worth waiting for.

So I thought I’d do a little intro into our dream which we have almost fulfilled. We have just got the little downstairs bathroom to do and we have completed the majority of the interior. Each room has influences from our love of reclaimed furniture, touched of my childhood in the cottage but also inspired by some modern mixes.

In between my blogs every few months of how my business is progressing, I’m going to chat about little parts of our home. Something new for you to enjoy too because working hard to make our house a home, means such a lot. You’ll see my creative touches and one day I hope, once the house and garden are magazine ready we may just feature. The day I can sit here with a hot mug of tea and magazine in hand I’ll really feel a great sense of achievement with all the hard work and patience.

My Summer round up.....

Gosh what a summer we had, since my last blog post we’ve got up to quite a bit as a family, as Sweet Pea grows. It started off with a trip to The Walled Garden at Beeston Fields to enjoy the lovely Fabulous Places little fair. Sometimes its nice to pop along to events to see how it feels but to also enjoy. I was full of cold that day but a yummy ice cream made me feel a lot better (I did share it with my little one!!) Visiting other events is important to gage if my work would fit in, how far it would be to travel, what customer base there is.

At this point I was also illustrating more in my range of grey hares. I now have a series of prints in this range available on my website. These prints are now in stock at The Little Shed, Allestree, Derbyshire. I’ve had quite a few sales and some lovely comments on social media. These really do help me so thank you because its nice to know my work brings joy to others.

The development of my little squares of prettiness have also been going well. I’ve had a steady interest in both the floral and hare little square illustrations. I love drawing these and as a collection am pleased with how they are coming on. There have been some personalised designs emailed my way for a wedding, a 40th birthday and special designs for children.


We’ve had some wonderful family trips over the summer starting with a surprise to see My First Ballet Swan Lake in Manchester. My daughter has been dancing since she was two and announced to us she’d like to be a professional ballerina! So as she was working towards her first exam it seemed appropriate to take her to see how the professionals dance. It was a moment to cherish when my little one realised what we were watching because we’d kept it a surprise! I love moments like this, it’s what working hard’s really for.

Now the weather this summer has been the hottest since 1976 apparently. I am an 80’s baby so this summer has been my hottest to date and wow have we enjoyed it. Lots of paddling pool splashing and bbq’s with family and friends. One of the nicest walks we’ve found has been from our village to one of the neighbouring villages. As we cut through the woods half way there is a tree and surrounding tree stumps creating a fairy home. The large tree has a little red door attached which children post their fairy letters!!! How adorable and a high light for my little one which she shared with her older cousin whom visited.

My next adventure was to take a day out to Kirsty’s Handmade Fair with my Mum. It was great to see Jane Kent a fellow artists/maker and to support her too. The show was busy, some fab stands and a few items purchased. We then enjoyed a drive to Stratford-upon-Avon which I’d heard lots about but had never been. Quite a bit of history in this market town and one of the countries busiest tourist destinations. It was nice to visit somewhere new teaming it up with the fair and spending time with my Mum.

So for the next few months I was busy getting together stock for the Summer Market at The Roundhouse, Derby, embracing days out along the way and our beautiful countryside. It’s nice when getting together for an event to get all stock out to see how my works progressing and to also mock up the stand every now and then. Also looks great on social media to show my work collaboratively. I have also picked a few original paintings as prints and cards which are now available through my website in both A4, A5 and standard card size.

The countryside is as you know now where I get lots of inspiration and it brings me much comfort. So as a family we’ve been for bike rides along the Monsal Trail outside Bakewell. An old rail track so fab for little ones, I think we managed about 6 miles there and back! The views and hedgerows along the journey were beautiful, very inspiring.

May half term came and for a while I’ve been wanting to take a day out to the sea side. For years as a child we went to Anglesey for our holidays. Beaumaris is one of my favourite places, love the little shops, pastel coloured sea front houses, the fab Janet Bell Gallery/gift shop, Snowdon views, fish and chips and it holds many happy memories. So with my little one we got up really early one morning, collected my Mum on the way and went for the day. Even the smells of the sea, the wind and when you come home with sand in the car, its a great experience all round. On Route we popped to Hawarden to the farm shop for breakfast. A unique building filled with unusual gifts, great food, butchery and the building’s made with old steel cladding, very Instagram friendly!!!

In June I had a very exciting meeting with Anney from The Little Shed. She’d been thinking for a while to ask if I’d like to run watercolour workshops. I was so chuffed to be asked and so we planned the themes and dates to run the first evening class. I’m so pleased it sold out with in a few weeks and even a reserved list. I was quite nervous to run the workshop as I haven’t stood in from of people and presented for some time. The Ladies that booked on were all so lovely, friendly and supportive. They all embraced the workshop, enjoyed the company of the other people and obviously the cake that Anney provided was thoroughly enjoyable! We are now in talks to run further workshops so if you are interested please get in contact. I have also been asked about one to one workshops. So again please get in contact if your interested.

Along this summer journey I was also getting ready and prepared for the Summer Market with Fabulous Places, The Roundhouse, Derby. This time I was located back in the Roundhouse. In the Spring I was located in the Library and I understand regarding Debs feedback the customers that come to the event like to have a change of stall holders so the event feels fresh. I agree with this and either location I enjoyed and did well, the library has actually been my best position to date. So I have now had two stall at the Spring Market, two including this for the Summer Market and one stall for the Christmas Market which is a two day event. I enjoy these events so much and they are a high quality ran market. Deb does a great job and so to be a stall holder again I was really pleased.

This Summer Event I decided to change my stand slightly and was pleased with how it looked. I got some great feedback and did well at the event. My VIP idea this time for to produce a limited addition print, for the Spring event I produced sweet pea seedling if you remember? Both have been well received. So the Christmas event this year I’ve decided not to attend for various reason, one being family commitments. So on the Sunday of the market my friend and I are going to be VIP’s which will be fun. It will also be nice to experience the event from the other side and take a look at where I can change or adapt things for the Spring Market 2019 if I am accepted. There are so many gorgeous stalls at this event a great place to shop for Christmas so pop along if your free on the 11th November.


After this Summer Market it was time to enjoy our village Carnival. My daughter is in the carnival parade supporting her ballet group. So we walk with her and then she does a dance in the field for all to enjoy. We have it to a fine art now, pop to our local butchers stand for a hot dog, walk around the stalls (Mum and I always buy a new plant for the garden) and enjoy an ice cream. But this year an England football game was on so we had to run home with our ice creams before they melted and watch the game!!!

I have attended the Huddle arranged through Deb, Fabulous Places which has been a lovely way to network and meet new people or put faces to Instagram accounts I follow!!! So the second Huddle I went to I met Liz from Lottie Brown a wonderful photographer. She contacted me after and we met up to chat as she wanted a commission of her family draw as hares. I loved producing this for her family. She was chuffed to bits and has also asked to illustrate her business logo. And in return have had some product photography done with Liz. First a shoot of me at work and in my surroundings and our next meet up will be of my work and lots of these images updated on my website.

I enjoyed the shoot so much cause Liz is so easy to chat to and made me feel really comfortable. I highly recommend her. So with Liz’s logo we will be colaberating with the lovely Lisa King because she’s designing Liz’s website. When it’s been digitalised I’ll let you all see how it’s worked together with Liz’s business name. Another logo I’ve designed pictured below was for Kate Marr who is in the process of having throws produced from her sheeps wool. I think now she’s had a batch produced, her logo will be added. So fantastic to see your designs included on garments like this. I’m arranging a meet up soon to have a look which I can’t wait, then I’ll have to have one at home!!! Kate has asked Miss sammie to create her website and so Sammie digitalised this logo I created for Kate. It’s great to work with other designers to collaborate our skills, girl power!!!

This summer we planned to travel to London and spend a few days there before camping at Adam Hensons Cotswold Farm. We had a wonderful time in London, visiting firstly my husbands Grandad which my little one loved to see her Great Grandad McVity! We spent the day at Kew Gardens, so lovely to wonder around in the sunshine. My favourite to visit too is Liberty, the follower shop and fabric are just beautiful. The hustle and bustle of the city is infectious, we love London and even though my husband works there every week it’s not the same without his girls. We also took our budding ballerina to see the Royal ballet School. Its good to see where one day your dreams may just come true if you try hard enough. Experiencing the big smock all together as a family is great and we try and do it as much as we can as theres so much to see.

Adams Farm as we call it (Cotswold farm Park) is fab, if you ever get the chance to go it’s well worth it. We went camping there 3 years ago and new this summer would be fun camping again. We had the most amazing week and visited the farm nearly every day. The Cotswold farm shops and Daylesford especially we love to visit and have the nicest picnic’s with the food we take back. I love to visit the villages and this year really wanted to visit Sam Wilsons gorgeous new shop in Stow-on-the-wold, just beautiful could have bought everything!

After our week camping we planned to collect two new mini lop rabbits on our way home. For the few weeks running up to us going away my husband and daughter had converted her wendy house for the rabbits to live in. It’s worked so well and they are very happy together, we named them Bumble and Crumble! The rest of the summer holidays we met up with friends and family and made the most of the fabulous weather at many wonderful National Trust sites. Throughout these days with my little one work continued and I took part in a new fair at Nevenby. This was a good opportunity to meet new customers and try out another fair in a new area.

For a while I’ve had a special piece of furniture, my Grandads fireside chair. He passed away a few years ago and I wanted to keep it and have reupholstered, so managed to organise this with Nicky from Joy Interiors. Nicky and her upholster have done such a fab job and we’re so chuffed with it. A lovely piece now that I can pass onto my daughter in the future.

The August bank holiday and husband and I decided to enjoy a few days away to The Lakes. With my little one on a sleep over at her Grandparents, we managed a few walks, one being Bowfell with the most amazing views we’ve ever experienced on a walk of this hight. It was lovely to have some time together just us, re charge the batteries before the routine started in September.

Just before school started we also managed a last day out to the Chatsworth Country Fair with a picnic with friends. We hadn’t been before and it was a real traditional country day. Lots for families, the children loved it especially the ride on the Merry-Go-Round, love those traditional rides. Then ice cream and pimms to celebrate the end of the summer. When the weathers good in Britain holidaying here is amazing and it was for us.

And lastly to end the wonderful summer we had, I was asked to paint a commission for a friends sisters dogs. An early commission for Christmas but very organised! So I popped this round just at the end of the summer and my friend was pleased. For a commission I ask for a few photos of the animal being painted, preferable profile but other views are good too. These two particularly had lots of character which is fun to paint. If you are interested in a commission for Christmas then please feel free to get in contact.

I look forward to my next blog, I hope you enjoy reading all we get up to, till next time.

So much to tell you...

Well what has the year so far had in store for Sweet Pea. It started off with lots of thoughts for the year ahead as we all think about goals we want to achieve for many parts of our lives.

I started by taking part in RED January, to run, walk or jog every day throughout the month to raise money and awareness for the charity MIND. I managed to raise £600 which I was really pleased with. Along side this, which kept me going throughout the chilly January days, new creations were taking place. 

After much interest in my 'little squares of prettiness' at the Christmas Market, The Roundhouse, Derby, I had a few commissions and a new range for the new year. I also made the decision to select a few original watercolour paintings and have prints made available. These too have proved to be popular and two of my illustrations have been added to the print collection. 



The winter months were very cold but plans to enjoy a weekend in Bristol for my birthday lifted us all and was very inspiring. Such a quirky city, fab flower shops, vintage finds, amazing street art everywhere, great views and loved the colourful rows of houses. 



In early Febuary, Styleboxe invited me to the NEC's Spring Fair to see the showcasing of my range I assigned for their children's party wear. Last summer Styleboxe approached me and I was blown away with the high quality of the finished products and how fantastic the stand looked. Becky did amazingly and I continue to lease with them through the journey the products are taking and with new ranges in the future.



So whilst the snow was falling and the days were so very cold, I have been busy creating in my country home ready for the Spring Market at The Roundhouse, Derby. This year is now my second year with Deb at Fabulous Places. Plans for new products for the spring event were well under way with many trips to the printers with my new friend Nathan! 



So whilst preparation was going well so was my social media Instagram in particular. I have sold quite a few pieces through Instagram and have a few dedicated followers who are displaying my work in their homes and purchasing gift for family and friends. If you see any of my work I post and like the look of any pieces, if you direct message me I can reserve the piece for you.


March the 10th the Spring Market, The Round House, Derby took place, a week late due to the snow but well worth the wait. This year I was in the library and did the best yet at this event. I was over the moon with the feed back from customers. My prints were really popular and went down really well. I have had many request since too and have more for the next Market. I was busy all day and met some lovely new customers too. I think being part of this particular event means I can push myself a little more and its always nice to chat to my customers. Working from home is wonderful but to interact with others and receive feedback is always interesting. 


I often receive interest in commissions and mid March I was asked to produce an illustration of a little girl with her favourite cherished rabbit. After a few chats, meet ups I created this watercolour illustration. The Mum and I had been talking about it for some time and so once I delivered the piece and we saw her daughters reaction, we were both very pleased. Commissions are something so special to that individual person so always nice to whitness a lovely reaction.  


April became a very creative month with quite a few days out to gardens, art galleries and taking part in workshops. RHS Garden Harlow Carr is well worth a visit and the willow sculpture there is fantastic. Two boxing hares, a bee, spider and the BFG!

The Hepworth Gallery is such a source of inspiration before you have even stepped into the building. The architecture is very powerful and once inside the experience is great to look around. I think its good to step out of your environment sometimes and look at others work or work with other mediums. Ive always loved visiting Yorkshire Sculpture Park and for my Mums 60th birthday she and I attended a Chris Moss wire bird sculpture workshop. It was interesting to effectively draw with the wire to create the shapes. Thinking about the form and movement of the bird. I came home buzzing after that day. Its important to keep doing what you love. 



And in the last few weeks I have been producing a new range of Grey Hares for my little squares of prettiness. I have also illustrated four new prints that will soon be available on my website. 

On the 1st of July I will be at The Roundhouse, Derby for the Summer Market with Debs from Fabulous Places and a few new events. After a little thought, I have been to a few fairs to do a little research into were Id like to see Sweet Pea designs grow and if I am taking my little business in the right direction. So I will keep you posted on news. 

Those exciting times...

After a well deserved summer break with my family my thoughts were aiming towards the Christmas Fairs. My goal this year was to take part in the Spring Market at the Roundhouse, Derby with Deb. Im so pleased to have been with the Fabulous Places markets for a full year now. I have met some lovely stall holders and now have some great customers too.

One of my other goals alone side running my own business has been to renovate a home with my husband which we have done. But as you know the finishing touches always take just a little longer but boy do you appreciate it when they arrive. I like to support other local businesses and artist/makers when choosing blinds, carpet, accessories or just those lovely little finds. So for some time my husband and I have had rails and ikea bags as our wardrobes and we are now excited because we'll be having bespoke wardrobes very soon!!

At this point in the year I have been inspired after a good rest and have started on a few new creations. My love of the countryside and the farm animals I paint I've wanted to incorporate the natural finds I also enjoy to collect on country walks. Including these in my work to produce accessories for the home. 


I love the natural colours, textures and I have collected the dry grasses in particular from hedgerows and pressed them into the air drying clay in which I use. At my events this year I have displayed the grasses in a jug and also do this at home. Customers have liked it so much they have wanted to purchase them!!!

Since creating these new accessories I am now stocking at The Little Shed, Allestree. Annie has been very supportive and displayed them really nicely throughout the shop. I continue to create the clay shapes with words and you can order your personalised ones too through my website. 

So from this I have then combined my illustrations, with my watercolours and hedgerow finds to produce these one off mini pieces. Ive had so much positive feedback, good sales of them too and requests for them this year already.


Orders on any of the work that you see is very welcomed, personalised, for a particular event or with a particular colour/theme in mind. Each of the pieces are individual, hand created for you.

In October half term my little family took a break for a few days to The Lakes. It was very wet, as expected but great to see, go for a walk or two and potter about the shops. We also explored the world of Beatrix Potter which my little one loved.

Back home orders were being completed and thoughts on my first Christmas event, stock, setting up, display ideas. The Christmas market was my first two day event and went really well. Great feed back, work sold and commission taken. Having only a goal to attend one event yet took part in three, I have been really pleased this year with how well I have done at The Roundhouse. 


After the Christmas event with Debs I attended the three day Christmas fair at Swarkestone Garden Centre. I had to wrap up warm standing in a large green house in November but worth it. I shared the stall with my friend Jan who does pyrography and met some new stall holders and lovely new customers. 

Above, bottom left, is the commission of a family dog as a surprise Christmas present. I was really pleased with it and I think it went down well!

So after a very full year with lows and highs throughout, I feel really pleased with the direction that Sweet Pea Designs is growing. Having started the business 16months ago Ive achieve far more than I expected with the fantastic support of my friends and family. 

Im looking forward to what 2018 brings for the business, with many more ideas, fairs to attend and opportunities to share. Thank you to all those that follow me on social media and a happy new year to you all.



Busy Bee..........

Well its been a busy last few months for Sweet Pea Designs, quite a few different events happening, commissions, new projects and opportunities. 

Fabulous Places Spring Market event at the Roundhouse, Derby went so well in March that I was given the opportunity to attend the Summer Market in July. It was so lovely to see some familiar faces and meet more of the other stall holders. I feel apart of the team already after just two events and am really pleased to announce I will be at the Christmas Market too.


Just before the Spring Market I was contacted by a new client to design her business logo. What an opportunity and these designs will be used, not only on her website and paper work but also her gorgeous wool throws. Kate is so lovely and I have really enjoyed getting to know her. Visiting these like minded clients in such inspiring country homes is one of the joys of my business. I look forward to telling you more about Kate's business and to show you the journey my illustrations will take from its first stage to completion. I will soon link to her website so will keep you posted.



In June the Derbyshire hand picked guide was available to have as a reminder of all those lovely places to visit in our lovely county. For this addition Sweet Pea Designs features, another way to get in touch or visit my website. 


Earlier this summer the weathers been beautiful and we have been making the most of new Fathers day garden furniture, bbq's and being with friends and family. Days out too with picnics, walks and a spot of running for me getting fit for our summer holidays away. But first in May we went to the Hay Festival which was really inspiring and would highly recomend.

Tony Hollinshead (author)and my (illustrations)book project is still in the pipe line. All finished and ready for the next stage so fingers crossed!

Tony Hollinshead (author)and my (illustrations)book project is still in the pipe line. All finished and ready for the next stage so fingers crossed!

I have also taken a trip to Snowdon and it was great to have a few nights away to recharge, take time out and we popped to Beaumaris which is a place close to my heart from my childhood. So relaxing to sit and watch the boats in the sea bobbing along whilst feeling the sea breeze. I love the pastel colours of the houses on the sea front too always come away ready to be creative. 

Having had a few trips away I've been inspired to put more of the finishing touches together in our home. With so much inspiration around me things in our home are starting to feel complete. Enjoying Sweet Pea Designs dotted about too of course!

My Mother's Day gift from the lovely Nicky, Joy Interiors. My next kitchen blind is on its way soon!!

My Mother's Day gift from the lovely Nicky, Joy Interiors. My next kitchen blind is on its way soon!!

So as the summer has continued I have also been contacted by Becky, Styleboxe to design four new children's party wear ranges. I was blown away with the opportunity and can't wait to show you the ranges once they are finalised. Ive illustrated a young children's range, super heroes, princesses and unicorn. They are very much still in the early stages of development but once they are ready to purchase I will keep you updated and will also have a link to Styleboxe. Working with Becky has been fab and fingers crossed we will be collaborating again in the future.

And so after handing over this fantastic project I've been working on, it was time for our family holiday. We were lucky enough to be invited to Paris to a wedding reception to start and then enjoyed a good break in Mallorca. This year more than ever we needed to re charge, re look at our future and put everything in perspective. And so I am enjoying the summer with my little family and know that 2017 still holds many exciting times ahead and I look forward to keeping you updated with Sweet Pea Designs developments. 



First event.......

After a quick wiz on the sewing machine to transform my daughter into, 'Alpaca by Rosemary Billam' for World Book Day, swept away by Doris, preparation for the Spring Market at The Roundhouse, Derby everything was under way. 

Creating a mock up in my kitchen, putting together bespoke props, vintage pieces to reflect my love of the countryside and all that goes with it. And always a cup of tea by my side!


I decided to block print my labels and other information, giving an overall fluid feel like the water colours. It all came together well and I was pleased with the results.

Having had the unexpected news that my Dad had passed away the week before the event, I am now pleased I still attended. Debs the organiser was very kind as were lots of the other stall holders. My extremely supportive husband came with me too, helping to put the stand together. This is where the mock up in my kitchen really helped. I was able to look back at photos, adapt it a little but something I will deffinately do again and advise others too. 


The over all effect I accomplished and was pleased under the circumstances. The customers were very positive with their comments. Lots of great feed back and things for me to think about. New ideas, different events, stand ideas, what to change, what my customers liked and why.

Which brings me to whats New for Sweet Pea Designs. I am in the process of designing the alphabet with each letter illustrated with an individual rabbit. I have started with my daughters name to give you an idea of how a collection would look. Here is a close up of the first letter. Once I have drawn the alphabet and numbers 1-10 I will be having them printed and they will be able to be purchased on my website. 

Ive had a wonderful trip to the fabulous Emma Bridgewater factory with my bestie and our children to start the Easter holidays. Creating my own Easter plate. I look forward to seeing the results this week! Some times its nice to use my painting skills on another medium and seeing how it changes, what effects I can play with and working in another environment x 

It's been an emotional Easter break in many ways. But with the support of my wonderful family and friends I'm getting through it. I've enjoyed local walks in the glorious sunshine, our first picnic to the National Trusts Kedleston Hall, the fab West Midland Safari Park and a traditional Easter hunt in the garden.

But this year Easter has been a particulary memorable one, as my brother with his wife and 14 month son (who we hadn't met before) arrived on Easter Sunday to be re united with us. Family is so very important to me and will always come first. 


The month of love.........x

Well, January ended on a high as it was my birthday. It was lovely to spend some quality time with my family and friends, I was spoilt to bits. And we are now creeping towards the end of February!!! 

Its been a productive month with my main focus on the Derbyshire Spring Market in March. Making sure my stand will live up to the quality I have enjoyed in the past. One exciting delivery arrived quite early, my sign! I wanted to make sure my logo is eye catching but also presented in a unique style. I can't give the game away but if you pop along to the event you'll see what I mean. I will post a few images on Instagram and my March blog after the show.

I have been painting away and posting images of my work on social media. Showing you all what I have been up to and because of this I have had quite a few sales, particularly through Instagram. This black and white rabbit has sold to Ali Leja designs based in Georgia, USA. Im so over whelmed by the support I have received from everyone. 

I have continued with my walking and goal of getting fitter. Walking with my family every Sunday and started running again! There's nothing better than being out in the countryside, contemplating the week gone by and thoughts of whats to come, christening my new wellies was fun too in all the mud!

My next commission came from Fife, Scotland. I was honoured to be asked to paint a gorgeous Flatcoated Retreiver that has passed away. A very special piece that would mean so much to the family I was painting it for. I had some lovely feedback and they were very pleased. Commissions like these are so special to customers and such a privilege to paint. I do get a little nervous once they are all packaged up and ready to be sent in the post. But once the feedback is given and I know the customer is happy, I can rest!



February also brought half term, a week I can enjoy with my little girl making rabbit biscuits, few days out, walks and being creative. Amongst this week I have been continuing with my illustrations and working on the scenes for the children's book I am collaborating on. My Monday teasers have been quite popular and I've had lots of positive feedback. 


From seeing both styles of my workI have been asked to design a business logo for a new customer. Its all very exciting and I look forward to sharing with you next month the results. 

There has been lots of preparation for the Spring Market at The Roundhouse, Derby. Painting crates, collecting items for the stand, jars for flowers and hoping my bulbs will be in full bloom in my terracotta pots!!!! My paintings are now being mounted and framed with hand stamped prices on luggage labels. 

I look forward to posting on social media in the last few weeks leading up to the event and images of my stand. So keep a look out, follow me on the journey and I will keep you all posted on new and exciting news for March. 

What a start to the year........

Well I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and have re charged the batteries. I had a very relaxed festive holiday and have lots to tell you for the beginning of the year so far. 

My main aim for this year for Sweet Pea Designs was to explore fairs and I am really pleased to announce I will be attending the Spring home, food and gift market, The Roundhouse, Derby. I will be amongst other stall holders such as Joy Interiors, Paper Cotton and Sally's Shed. The fair will be on the 19th March 10am - 4pm so pop along, I'd love to see you there. 

January has seen me exploring my lovely village for lots of walks, coming across so many beautiful horses, I'll have to paint one soon. The garden is showing signs of bulbs peeping through the soil already and indoors there in full bloom and smelling amazing. 


The website I'm delighted to say has had fantastic feedback and many views which I'm so pleased about. Christmas commission also have been received with many compliments and emails of them in situ. This piece was designed in my illustrative style for a Grandma capturing her four Grandsons and love of rabbits. I particularly liked Arthur here, nick named by the family as king Arthur, hence the sword and crown!

My other exciting piece of news is that I am collaborating with The Country Shed, selling my original pieces through her website too. For carefully selected country inspired home and gift business to sell on the market place Steph has set up. I'm so grateful to have been asked and feedback already has overwhelmed me. With many more followers on Instagram and such lovely comments. Take a look at I have two original pieces for sale a calf and runner duck. 

And just to keep you on your toes...............I have also been developing the scenes for the illustrations to accompany the children's stories. We have lots in the development stages at the moment but again I'm delighted with the feedback already and meet regular with the author. A publisher has been contacted so watch this space!!!! Enjoy the Monday morning teasers.....x